As Jack's ballet concert fast approaches, it seems like we are attending rehearsals every second day. Last Sunday was the dress rehearsal and I would like to say it was organised chaos but that might be an exaggeration (the organised bit, not the chaos bit). We got to the hall right on time because I am a little bit afraid of being told off by Jack's teacher. Then we waited and waited and waited for the 'baby' ballet troupe to go on stage. Girls wearing lots of makeup (a little too JonBenet for my liking) and gowns and ugg boots, flounced around and fought over wings. Jack got some glitter in his hair (nice) and acquired some wings and edged ever so slowly towards the stage. We were also given a long list of rules for this weekend (the concert!) including no cameras to be allowed at the concert. But what about the blog I felt like moaning. So I snuck in a few pics while the teacher was distracted.
As it looks like Dad won't be able to make it this weekend I will be purchasing the DVD for him instead.
We tried. We really did but we just didn't quite make it to December before the tree went up. Considering they've been up in some shops since August I suppose we aren't doing that badly. So yesterday, even though it is still November and I cannot locate all the decorations, we put up teh tree. Jack was SOOOOOO excited. Can you tell?
Everytime we ask him what he wants he always answers Shark waterslide. He saw one in a catalogue months ago. His answer never ever changes. What are we to do? I have managed to get a message from Mr C where he mentions a scooter (and listening to his parents). Do you think this will work? If you want to see the message it is below.
One of the highlights (for some) of dining at our house is that people are requested (meaning they have no choice) to read a story or two to Jack before bedtime. When Scarlett was here she and Jack both chose stories and we all got a turn. Stories a plenty. As first cab off the rank S held them in thrall with his delivery of Cat in the Hat.
By the time they got to me (lucky last) their attention was wandering (because it couldn't have been my technique surely?)
Sorry mum - know that's not the best pic but your expression says it all.
It seems like it was months ago that Scarlett visited, when really it was only about a month ago. Scarlett came to visit with my parents while hers were in China. Jack and Scarlett don't see each other all the time but they just click when they do. They were virtually inseparable while she was here. Even when Craig and Lou called to say hello she handed the phone to Ganma and said, "You be Scarlett." and sat down next to Jack. We were having a family photo done at the time so we scored an extra family member for that one.
woody and jessie
Most of teh photographs were of Jack and Scarlett and taken by my friend Renee. Later Scarlett confided to my Mum, "We enjoyed running away from that photographer lady"
On Thursday I flew up to Sydney for a lightning visit. Mainly to see my Dad who was undergoing surgery.
Unfortunately for him he was unable to use his ticket to see the Berlin Philarmoniker performing at the Opera House on Friday night so I got to go in his place. To say I was excited was an understatement. There'd been a buzz on the radio for weeks about the Berlin Phil and its conductor Sir Simon Rattle. I'd even thought about entering a competition to win tickets but thought that was silly seeing as I had to work and the Berlin Phil would not be performing in Wagga.
On Thursday afternoon I met my brother at town hall station for a lightning tour of the new Westfield, Abbeys bookshop and a mini cupcake or two.
We went to a Vietnamese restaurant called Trans for dinner where we ate amongst other things, a delectable prawn curry served in the shell of a young coconut. I finished off the meal with one of my all time favourite desserts, black sticky rice and it was so very good.
The next morning Mum and I visited Dad (who looked very sore indeed) and took him some flowers and a picture or two to cheer him up. After some retail therapy and a nap we put our glad rags on and made our way to Aria for dinner. We had a great table just made for people watching. Mum opined that couples seem to grow alike and we saw some fine examples. We also saw some fine examples of food with the amuse-bouche (a minty pea soup with prosciutto and yoghurt),
scallops for Mum
and beetroot for me,
a tarte tatin of eschallots for Mum and Salmon for me and I was unable to resist the custard tart with poached pears and gingerbread ice cream.
Mum was unable to resist trying to scoop the last of the truffles into her serviette then into her handbag to take to Dad the next day. Unfortunately a waiter appeared out of nowhere just at that moment and suggested that perhaps madam would like the truffles in a box?
Which of course set us off on a round of giggles. Garn (whose birthday it was) would've been proud, though she probably wouldn't have got caught.
On arrival at the concert hall we purchased a programme and a CD for Dad. (almost as good as the real thing?). The stage was decked out in glorious flowers and the crowd was abuzz. The music was glorious.
Even though some of the pieces weren't quite my thing (I'm so old school you could dip my pigtails in an inkwell) I was still impressed by the creative use of percussion (a gigantic hammer and sheets of tinfoil) and the appearance of a composer. A rare occurrence indeed. The vibe at interval was festive as ladies chatted as they queued for the loo. One woman said to me (about Simon Rattle) "He's such a spunk!" and tittered. I'm not sure about that but he does have a certain something, particularly his ability to conduct a whole orchestra with one raised eyebrow. The last piece was a symphony by Brahms that was just beautiful and followed by rapturous applause and an encore piece from The Nutcracker. Apparently so unfashionable but I loved it all the same. And so too does spunky Sir Simon. You could just tell. After the applause finally stopped and I was told very firmly that I was not allowed to photograph the flowers (not even the peonies) we retired for the evening. The next morning I got up early and made my way to mascot with my hand luggage and a ricotta cake from Haberfield for everyone at work (and S) and flew home (or to the library anyway). Thanks Mum for the wonderful dinner and concert. Hope you're feeling better soon Dad.
The view from Aria was certainly better than the view from Quay that night...
We are now down to 1 duck and 2 chooks. One of the chooks was just never quite right. She had a gimpy comb that never grew, an extra long beak, she never laid eggs and all of a sudden she started to limp and the she developed quite a noticeable list to starboard. I moved her away from the other birds in case her gimpiness was contagious and expected that she would expire almost immediately. It would seem though that living in a box in our laundry and being fed through a dropper was to her liking and so she malingered for quite a while until S could stand it no longer. When I asked him what he was going to tell Jack he replied that he would say, "Daddy had to euthanise the chicken. I guessed correctly that he only wanted to say this so that Jack would use the word euthanise at preschool. The remaining poultry continue to do well. They lay eggs and in return receive extravagant praise and a variety of scraps provided not only by us but by workmates (thanks Sarah & Jen) and even the local school canteen. Recently I went to collect the eggs and found this enormous offering (pictured next to a normal egg). As Amy pointed out you can even see the line half way down where the chicken has paused to say, No, that's it I can't do it. Ouch.
It would seem that being a superhero would be enough for any three and a half year old, but not for Jack. We went to the farmers markets this morning (I was there for the french bread and the veggie man - Jack was there for the dancing pigs).
When we saw Kelly and Renee doing face painting Jack wanted it done again. This time he wanted to be a fish. Hmmm - he always seems to choose the tricky ones. He was pleased with the results and decided to celebrate with a milkshake at the Thomas cafe.
Once there we were joined by Spiderman, aka Jack's friend Flynn. He too was very pleased with his face. (that's a special scary face that he's making for the camera).
And as for the dancing pigs? We saw them when they arrived but somehow missed the dancing.
Last Friday we went to a spring fair at a local school. Luckily I had taken out a loan before we got there. There was a ferris wheel, a jumping castle, a cake stall and pony rides and more. Like last time we just had to go on the ferris wheel and I mean we. Jack didn't want to go on it without me, though as I bumped my head and squished into the seat I was aware it was not really built for people over three feet high.
"It's quite high Mum"
After our ride Jack caught a duck and won a prize (not a real duck) then decided to get his face painted. When Kelly asked him what he wanted he said a chicken, much to her consternation. We managed to talk him into getting a superhero mask in purple (his colour du jour).
Who is that masked man?
I think it ended up looking a bit like a butterfly but he was pleased nonetheless. He also decorated a cupcake (which was a very serious business indeed).
The icing (purple of course)
Time for sprinkles
After that we decided to look at the ponies. Normally that is as close as we get ,for even though Jack tells me he wants to buy a horse, when it comes to hopping onto one he is hesitant (and who could blame him?). I think seeing his friend William (who is totally fearless) on a pony certainly helped to persuade him that he should give it a go. After some creative queueing he selected his pony and after a donning a helmet was placed onto the saddle.
Adjusting the stirrups
The woman looking after Jack (and the pony) was great. Quietly spoken and patient, I could hear her talking to Jack as they walked around so that eventually he wasn't so scared and he started to relax and enjoy himself.
how could you resist these edible masterpieces?
After purchasing some cupcakes it was time to go (all our funds were depleted) much to Jack's dismay. I had to remind him that tears would make his mask run, which seemed to do the trick. Sort of.